Friday, October 7, 2011

Cop engaged of selling carnapped motorbikes in Nueva Ecija

CABANATUAN CITY, Nueva Ecija, October 8, 2011-Police Superintendent Edgar Alan Okubo, chief of the provincial public safety company revealed that a Nueva Ecija policeman has been linked to the rampant sale of carnapped motorcycles in the province following the arrest of one of the suspects Wednesday.

“A policeman from Gapan police was involved, whose name has been withheld surfaced with the arrest on Wednesday afternoon of Louie Ramos, 27, of 142 Barangay Sumacab Norte in this city,” Okubo said, adding that Ramos has been engaged in the sale of motorcycle carnapped in various places in the province.

The PPSC has set up an entrapment operation where an order for one motorcycle was placed to Ramos to deliver one to a policeman posing as buyer.

When Ramos came, he was immediately placed under arrest.  

Okubo said that Ramos, under tactical interrogation revealed that he ordered the carnapped motorcycles from the Gapan policeman, who he pays P17,000 for every motorcycle delivered to him.

Okubo said they are at present following up on information given by Ramos linking several personalities involved in the syndicated crime group. 

“We also recovered a motorcycle purchased from Ramos by one Fred Padre Jr. of Guimba, Nueva Ecija and we are expecting to make arrests of other personalities engaged in the syndicate,” Okubo ended. (Jason de Asis)

COA unearths anomalous transaction by Nueva Ecija DENR

CABANATUAN CITY, Nueva Ecija, October 8, 2011-The Commission on Audit has unearthed an anomaly at the office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Nueva Ecija involving the renting by the office of a service vehicle from a private person which was later found to be the son-in-law of the provincial environment and natural resources officer (PENRO).

The supposed anomaly was contained in a letter of State Auditor Mario Vicencio, COA supervising auditor to Dr. Rafael Otic, the DENR provincial chief. The report adopted the findings submitted to Vicencio by audit team leader Armando Veron which found irregularities in the rental agreement entered into by the DENR represented by Otic and a certain Aurea Corpuz over the motor vehicle supposedly owned by the latter.

Documents showed that Otic forged the agreement with Corpuz in August which ran up to December 2010 in which DENR would rent the vehicle at a cost of P550,000 or P110,000 per month.

The COA report said that the transaction was irregular because no public bidding was made for the transaction in violation of Section 10 of Republic Act 9184 considering that the total contract cost was P550,000. It added that the mode by which the vehicle was rented was unclear because the bids and awards committee (BAC) did not convene for this purpose but that Otic just approved the abstract of quotation, and there were no documents indicating that the rented vehicle was actually used such as trip tickets.

Also, the payments for the rented vehicle were split into two checks issued on the same day on December 29,2010 amounting to P204,600 and P306,900, respectively.

The COA said splitting of payment is prohibited under COA circular 76-41 dated July 30, 1976. It added that the rental cost of P110,000 per month was “quite excessive,” with the payment charged to the Upland Development Program/Pampanga River Basin accounts, a fund intended for reforestation projects.

The COA said the agreement supposedly covered the five-month period from August to December 2010 but that it was only notarized in 2011. Worse, it was found out per Land Transportation Office records that it was registered in the name of Mark Andrew Celis Ardieta, a son-in-law of Otic, and not Corpuz.

“This is contrary to Republic Act 6173 or the Code of Conduct and ethical Standards for Government Officials which prohibits conflict of interest and RA 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act,” the audit report said.

When asked to comment on the audit findings, the accountant said she cannot disobey the instruction of her superior, referring to Otic.

The report asked the DENR central and regional offices to conduct its own investigation on the irregularities in the rental agreement which, it said, is inimical to public interest.                 

The rental service agreement, which the COA described as “highly irregular,” was just one of several anomalies uncovered by the state auditing agency which also includes lack of public bidding, non-compliance with auditing procedures and nursery projects which have been stopped due to lack of back-up funds, resulting in wastage of money and resources.

The COA added that a review of several purchases not subjected to public bidding showed that the BAC was not performing its functions, resulting in procedural deficiencies and lack of required attached documents such as BAC resolution recommending award, abstract of bids, notice of award and acknowledgement receipts. (Jason de Asis)


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